Jesus Touched Me

by Beth Fore

When John heard in prison
what Christ was doing, he sent
his disciples to ask him, “Are you
the one who was to come, or
should we expect someone else?” 
Jesus replied, “Go back and report
to John what you hear and see: The
blind receive sight, the lame walk,
those who have leprosy are cured,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
and the good news is preached to
the poor.  Blessed is the man who
does not fall away on account of me.”

(Matthew 11:2-6 NIV)

Jesus Touched Me

I am the blind man
begging Jesus to touch me.
“He put mud on my eyes,
I washed and now I see.”

I am the scorned leper
begging Jesus on my knees.
He reached out his hand
and cleansed me of leprosy.

I am the crippled woman
bent over to my knees.
Jesus said, “You are set free
from your infirmity.”

I am the sister of Lazarus,
who was sick and died.
When Jesus came to us,
He was troubled and cried.

Jesus went to the tomb
and in a loud voice He said,
“Lazarus, come out!”
and raised him from the dead.

I am a wretched sinner
forgiven by Jesus’ grace.
I am touched by Jesus’ hands.
as I rest in His warm embrace.

by Beth Fore

*John the Baptist knew that Jesus was the prophesied Savior and Messiah when he heard that Jesus was healing the blind, the lame, the deaf, the lepers, and raising the dead.  Jesus affects every person He touches in a very personal way.

The Bible is filled with examples of Jesus’ encounters with many different sick people during his ministry.  Jesus responded to those who were physically ill, demonic, and those who sinned against moral and legal laws.  When a blind man begged Jesus to restore his sight, Jesus put mud on his eyes and healed them.  He both physically and spiritually touched the man.  God used physical healing to show people His power and authority, and then He healed them spiritually and often told them to “Go and sin no more!”

Jesus wasn’t afraid to touch the leper and let the power of healing flow forth from himself to the leper.  Jesus touched the leper and made him whole.  Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead even though he had been dead for several days.  This was a powerful witness of Christ’s authority and declaration that He was the Son of God.  Imagine what Mary and Martha, all of the other family and friends who were there, and the townspeople who heard about the miracle must have thought.  If they had any doubts, I would think this miracle would have squelched them and made them believers.

Jesus also touches people today.  Although Jesus is not here with us physically, He is always with us in spirit.  His message touches many people and transforms lives.  The presence of the Holy Spirit within us touches us at the deepest level and changes our hearts and minds.  Even though we are all sinners, the blood of Jesus covers us and removes all of our sins from us so that we are pure, holy, clean, and righteous before God the Father.  Jesus touches us every day with His love, His compassion, His forgiveness, His healing, and His grace.  Every person who comes to know and believe Jesus will be deeply and forever touched by Him!

APPLICATIONS

  1. Think of some other instances in the Bible where Jesus healed people.  Why do you think Jesus performed so many miracles of healing people?
  2. All of us have physical, mental, psychological, and spiritual illnesses that we would like to have removed.  Think about some of your illnesses, write them down, then take time to pray and ask God to touch you and heal you from them.
  3. Can you think of some illness that God has healed you from, in the past?  If so, and if you feel comfortable doing so, please share this experience with someone else.
  4. Do you believe that Jesus still heals people today, even though He is no longer present on the earth?
  5. Think of one very personal way that Jesus has touched you and changed you.  Please share this with someone else at an appropriate time when it may greatly impact that person’s life to hear your personal witness.

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ 

Who Am I, Lord?

by Beth Fore

“Which of these three do you
think was a neighbor to the man
who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied,
“The one who had mercy on
him.” Jesus told him,
“Go and do likewise.”
(Luke 10:36-37)

Who am I, Lord?

A man went from Jerusalem to Jericho
and was attacked by robbers one day.
They stripped him of his clothes, beat him,
left him for dead, then went away.

A priest happened along the same road,
and he saw the poor beaten man.
He passed by him on the other side
and didn’t offer him a helping hand.

Then came a Levite traveling the road,
and he saw the man and passed him by.
Neither of these men showed compassion
and abandoned him on the road to die.

How often I see another person’s needs,
and I don’t take time to minister to them.
How often I see . . . yet still pass by
and ignore them just as they did him.

But then came the outcast Samaritan
whose heart was filled with compassion.
He took him to an inn and paid for his care
as he would have done for his own son.

I wonder which one I am like, Lord.
Which one of these do I desire to be?
I want to be like the good Samaritan
and love my neighbor and show mercy.

Open my eyes to see others, Lord,
and to take time to meet their needs.
Help me respond like the Samaritan
with kind words and merciful deeds.

Beth Fore

*Many people encounter the same person who is in need of help; but each person responds differently.  Jesus tells this parable about The Good Samaritan and tells the Jews that the one who had mercy on him was the good neighbor and that they should “go and do likewise.”

In this parable, Jesus shows us how three different people respond to the same situation.  Each one comes upon a scene where a man has been attacked by robbers, stripped of his clothes, been beaten and left for dead.  This is a tragic scene!  Imagine, for a moment, that it is YOU who come upon this scene.  How would it affect you, and how would you respond?

The priest, a godly man, came upon this scene and chose to pass by the poor man without helping him.  Perhaps the priest was on his way to the temple for a special service, or maybe he was on his way to visit with a renowned Jew, or maybe he was beginning his vacation.  Whatever the reason, the priest did not think this person was worthy of his time, his attention, and his resources.  Though it is easy for us to be critical of the priest, it could very well be that we might respond to this situation just as the priest responded.

Then came a Levite traveling the road, and he also saw the man and passed him by.  The Levite was from the tribe of Levi, the Jewish tribe chosen to be the priests of God.  Once again, we have a person (designated to be a priest of God) who chooses not to address the situation he encounters, and he goes on his way leaving the poor man to die.  Perhaps the Levite thought attending to this man’s wounds would make him unclean or defile him in some way, or perhaps the person was of a different tribe or nation; but, whatever the reason, the Levite did not stop and help the wounded man.

*Jesus tells this parable about The Good Samaritan and tells the Jews that the one who had mercy on him was the good neighbor and that they should “go and do likewise.”

Then came the Samaritan, the “half-breed outcast,” who was looked down upon by other classes and groups of people.  It was this man who was filled with compassion, who stopped and tended to the man’s wounds and then took him to an inn and paid the innkeeper money to care for him. 

Jesus is not interested in our status or class in our culture.  He is not interested in our profession or position in the church.  Jesus is interested in our hearts! He desires that we show love, compassion, and mercy to other people we encounter in our daily lives.  We never know who, or what, we will encounter in our daily lives; but, regardless of the circumstances, we should be ready and willing to show “love for our neighbors and for one another” whenever we encounter someone in need.

APPLICATIONS

  1. Think of a time when you encountered a person in need and you helped them.  How did the person respond?  How did you feel?
  2. Now, think of a time when you encountered a person in need and you passed them by.  How did you feel?  How do you think the person felt?
  3. We are confronted by people around us who are in need of help every day.  How do we decide who to help?
  4. Does one’s position in church, or society, sometimes affect that person’s responses to people of lowly position and circumstances who are in need of help?
  5. Give some examples of how Jesus responded to the people he encountered who were in need of his help.

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

As White As Snow

by Beth Fore

“As I looked, thrones were
set in place, and the
Ancient of Days took
his seat.  His clothing
was as white as snow;
the hair of his head was
white like wool.  His throne
was flaming with fire, and
its wheels were all ablaze.”
(Daniel 7:9 NIV)

“His head and hair were white
like wool, as white as snow,
and his eyes were like
blazing fire.”
(Revelation 1:14 NIV)

As White as Snow

Flakes of snow fall softly from heaven,
covering the earth’s darkness with white.
Each flake is a unique creation from God,
a marvelous sensation to bring us delight.

The snow on one’s head symbolizes wisdom,
and clean white snow represents purity.
Man’s sins, like scarlet, become white as snow
when the blood of Jesus gives him sanctity.

Daniel envisioned the Ancient of Days
whose clothing was as white as snow.
His throne was flaming, raging with fire,
and its wheels were all aglow.

An angel whose appearance was like lightning
and his clothes shone as white as the snow,
appeared to the women at Jesus’s tomb
and told them what they needed to know.

John described Jesus whose hair was white,
and his eyes flamed like the blazing sun.
John fell at His feet as though he were dead
and beheld God’s Son, the forever Living One.

As I gaze outside at the falling snow,
it is a marvelous reminder to me,
that You weave the message of love and hope, God,
in natural and supernatural ways for me to see.

by Beth Fore

*The color white symbolizes goodness, purity, holiness, and cleanliness without blemish. A white dress on a bride symbolizes chastity and purity.  Angels, or Christians, wearing white robes, symbolize purity and godliness.

In both Daniel 7:9 and Revelation 1:14, God (the Ancient of Days) is sitting on his throne; and his clothing is white as snow and his hair is white like wool.  God is perfect, complete, righteous, pure, holy, and without any sin or flaw.  White hair is often associated with age, maturity, and wisdom.  God is the Father of Wisdom and holiness. 

White clothing is beautiful when it is clean and flawless, and most of us like to wear a brand new white dress, blouse, or shirt that has never been worn before.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t take very long for the garment to get a stain or a tear on it.  We wash it and bleach it, but it doesn’t usually ever look the same again.

As Christians, we are like a white garment.  We begin life as a brand new creature robed in white.  We have no stains, flaws, or blemishes; but it isn’t long before we commit a sin, then another sin, and then another one.  Now our bodies (which were once white garments) are no longer pure and flawless.  However, the blood of Jesus, which he shed on the cross for our sins, is far better than a bleach or cleanser.  The blood of Jesus removes every flaw, every blemish, and every sin from our bodies.  The blood of Jesus makes us pure, righteous, and holy. 

Snow is a beautiful metaphor for purity and holiness in nature.  The snow falls from heaven, and it covers the dirt and trash and ugliness on the earth.  The more snow that falls, the more beautiful the landscape becomes.  We no longer see the ugliness below.  All we can see is the purity, the cleanliness, the beautiful glistening crystals sent by God from the heavens to make the earth look clean and new!

APPLICATIONS

  1. Think of some other things in our lives that are considered pure and holy when they are white.  Share them.
  2. Get a piece of white typing paper and think of it as your life.  Now begin writing some of your sins on the paper.  Then look back over the list and thank Jesus for erasing every one of these sins from your life by shedding his blood for you.  Then turn the paper over and see that there are no marks on the paper.  Now, write a prayer of thanksgiving to God for covering all of your sins.
  3. Sometimes, the flaws, tears, and discolorations on our clothes, our furniture, and other objects are reminders of mistakes and sins we have made in the past.  Can these reminders be good for us?  When are these reminders definitively bad for us?
  4. Explain why you do, or do not, think that snow is a good metaphor in nature for purity and holiness.
  5. We can NEVER remove all of the stains and sins from our lives!  Explain why it is absolutely necessary that we understand that it is only through the blood of Christ that we will ever be cleansed and made righteous.

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

Your Grace

by Beth Fore

“Three times I pleaded with
the Lord to take it away from
me.  But he said to me, ‘My grace
is sufficient for you, for my power
is made perfect in weakness.’
Therefore I will boast all the more
gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ’s sake,
I delight in weaknesses, in
insults, in hardships, in
persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then
I am strong.”

(2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NIV)

Your Grace

Because of Your grace, Lord,
I am free.
I’m no longer blind, Lord,
now I see.

Because of Your grace, Lord,
I am forgiven.
My sins are washed away, Lord,
Christ has risen.

Because of Your grace, Lord,
I am blessed.
I’m no longer anxious, Lord,
in You I find rest.

Because of Your grace, Lord,
I am saved.
I’m sanctified by Your holiness
in which I am bathed.

Because of Your grace, Lord,
I have less fear.
I can feel Your presence, Lord,
You are always here.

Because of Your grace, Lord,
I do believe . . .
that Your gift of eternal life
I will receive.

by Beth Fore

*God sometimes allows his children to have visions, dreams, and unique encounters with heavenly beings to see and understand Him more clearly.

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”   (2 Cor. 12:10 NIV)

In the first part of 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about his encounter with God.  He was blinded on the road to Damascus and God appeared to him.  Paul tells us that he was caught up into paradise where he heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.  Paul was given an unusual encounter with God and things that happen in the heavenly places.  We can only imagine what these things might have been; but we do know that the things Paul experienced transformed him into one of the most devoted and committed apostles of Jesus Christ.

These experiences would likely cause most men to boast of this special honor and privilege; and that is likely true of Paul, also.  So, Paul tells us that he was given a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment him and prevent him from being conceited and boastful because of the things that had been revealed to him.  Like Paul, we can become boastful and proud sometimes when we think God has given us a special calling, or a spiritual gift.  God will also find a way to humble us when we become arrogant and think we are responsible for these gifts.

*God does not always choose to remove the problems, the pain, or the suffering from our lives even though we may ask Him to do so frequently in our prayers.  He does, however, promise us that He will be with us and give us the grace and strength to overcome these difficulties.

Paul pleaded with God and asked Him three times to remove this thorn.  God did not remove the thorn from Paul, but He did say, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  As Christians, we have the privilege of praying to God about all of our concerns.  Like Paul, we can ask God to remove things from our lives which cause us pain and suffering.  Also, like Paul, God may choose not to remove these things because they can help us grow and mature in Him.

Paul matured and grew in Christ through his thorn in the flesh.  He was able to boast about his weaknesses because Christ’s power and grace were given to him when he was too weak to take care of himself.  Christians are strong when they understand that God is always with them, and God will be strong for them whenever they need His strength.

APPLICATIONS

  1. Think of a time when you asked God repeatedly to remove some hurt, suffering, or hardship from your life.  Did He remove it?  If not, can you now see how His allowing you to have the problem actually caused you to be a more mature Christian?
  2. God’s grace is His free gift to us.  We do not deserve it; we do not earn it; we cannot work hard enough to gain it.  How should God’s gift of grace eliminate all conceit and boasting in our lives?
  3. Choose one of the stanzas of the poem, and think about how God’s grace affects your life.  Then write another stanza of your own that applies specifically to you personally.  You do not have to use rhyming words.
  4. Say Paul’s words aloud, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  Explain what these words mean to you.

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

In the Eye of the Storm

by Beth Fore

A furious squall came up,
and the waves broke over
the boat, so that it was nearly
swamped.  Jesus was in the
stern, sleeping on a cushion.
The disciples woke him and
said to him, “Teacher, don’t
you care if we drown?”  He
got up, rebuked the wind
and said to the waves,
“Quiet!  Be still.”  Then
the wind died down and
it was completely calm.

(Mark 4:37-39 NIV)

In the Eye of the Storm

In the eye of the storm,
it is peaceful and still.
Surrounded by turmoil,
calm is what we feel.

Christ gives us His peace
that passes understanding.
He is the eye of the storm
who can quiet any thing.

In every circumstance,
Christ is always near.
He is always present
and takes away the fear.

There is no burden
too great for Him to bear.
Any time of day or night,
He will hear our prayer.

Christ is our refuge
in every storm of life.
He is the eye of the storm
in a world of strife.

In the eye of the storm,
calm is what we feel.
Jesus rebukes the wind and se
and tells them, “Peace, be still.”

by Beth Fore

*We all have things we fear, whether it is tornados, earthquakes, bears, speaking to a group, sharing ourselves with others, facing conflict, etc.  Just as the disciples, in the boat with Jesus, feared the storm, so do we fear the storms in our lives.  Jesus was asleep in the boat and was in the midst of them, yet the apostles still feared.

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.”  (Mark 4:37 NIV)

As Christians, we know that Christ is always with us.  As human beings, we fear many things; but, as children of God, the Bible says over and over again, “Be not afraid.”  John also says, in 1 John 4:4 (NIV), “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”  God is with us and He can defeat any, and every, enemy we face. 

Jesus is the “eye of the storm,” a place of peace, safety, and refuge from all of the storms in life.  There are many scriptures in the Bible which tell us that God is our refuge, our rock, our fortress.  We can be certain and assured that He can overcome our fears and defeat any enemy we face when we call upon His name and trust in Him to care for us. 

*Jesus is Sovereign over everything.

“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet, be still!’  Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”  (Mark 4:39 NIV)

Jesus created the wind and the waves, and He has power and reign over them, just as He has over everything.  When we recognize, acknowledge, believe and confess that Jesus is sovereign and rules over everything and everyone, we don’t need to fear any storm of life because we know God will be with us and protect and provide for us in every circumstance of life.

APPLICATIONS

  1. What is one of your greatest fears?  How do you usually deal with this fear?
  2. Do you pray when you are fearful?  If so, what do you pray?  If not, why not?
  3. Is there something in your life that you are facing right now that you fear?  If so, stop and pray right now.  Ask the Holy Spirit to take your fear away and replace it with power and strength through Jesus Christ.
  4. Do you truly believe that God has power over everything and everyone?  Claim the power of God and of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit living in you, and you will receive the “peace that passes all understanding.”

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

A Speck of Dust

by Beth Fore

Why, you do not even know
what will happen tomorrow. 
What is your life?  You are a
mist that appears for a little
while and then vanishes.
(James 4:14 NIV)

Man is like a breath;
his days are like a
fleeting shadow.
(Psalm 144:4 NIV)

A Speck of Dust

I am but a speck of dust, Lord,
in the vastness of this universe.
I am but a minute grain of sand
on the ocean’s floor You disperse.

I am but a tiny flower, Lord,
that grows and withers away.
I am but a fleeting shadow
that only endures for a day.

I am a breath of air, Lord,
that lives for a little while.
I am but a simple step
in life’s long arduous mile.

I am a temporary mist, Lord,
that appears, then goes away.
I am merely a second in time
that comes, but doesn’t stay.

I seem so insignificant, Lord,
yet You gave Your life for me.
A speck of dust, a tiny flower,
yet You died at Calvary.

I may be a fleeting shadow,
but in You alone I believe.
I thank You for Your precious gift,
and Your bounty I gladly receive.

by Beth Fore

*A human being is such a tiny part of the whole of God’s creation.  And, in time on earth, a person lives on earth for a very short time.  It makes a person wonder about his/her significance in the overall scheme of life.

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”  (James 4:14 NIV)

The Bible says that man is a speck of dust, a mist, a breath, all of which are very minute or short-lived, seeming insignificant in view of all creation.  Human beings spend much time thinking about why they were created and what their purpose is on this earth.  We are thinking, rational beings; and we like to try to understand things.  We are here for a very short time – – – then we are gone!  Soon after we are gone, those who were here with us are gone also.  So, who remembers that we were ever here?

I think God wants man to understand just how small he is in comparison with Him. The Bible tells us, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  (1 Cor. 10:31 NIV).   Our purpose on earth is to give honor and glory to God in all that we do or say.  When we see how GREAT He is in comparison to everything He created, including us, then we better understand that we are the creation and He is the Creator. This gives us a wonderful motivation to seek to do His will and to completely surrender ourselves to Him.

Even though we are small in comparison to God, He created each one of us and He loves us and desires the best for us.  When Adam sinned and every human being suffered from the curse of sin, God had a plan to reconcile us to Him through the perfect sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ.  The Bible says God knows how many hairs are on our head; He knew us while we were in our mother’s womb.   Our God is love and He provides for us and blesses us and saves us when we open our hearts to Him and trust and obey Him. So, this demonstrates how loved and valued we are by God.

APPLICATIONS

  1. Think of some things God has created that are much more powerful than you.  Then think of something more powerful than that.  Continue until you get to God.  Perhaps this will help you see yourself in a more realistic perspective.
  2. The Bible tells us that we live a very short time on earth.  Do you think you are spending your time wisely?  What can you do to spend your time more wisely?
  3. Some people think “too little” of themselves.  How can we balance humility and a healthy self-concept?
  4. Do you think about the best way to honor and glorify God when you are making decisions in your life?  If so, does this often change the decisions you make.

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

Take Control, Lord

by Beth Fore

“Submit yourselves, then,
to God.  Resist the devil,
and he will flee from you.
Come near to God and he
will come near to you. 
Wash your hands, you
sinners, and purify your
hearts, you double-minded.
Grieve, mourn and wail.
Change your laughter to
mourning and your joy to
gloom.  Humble yourselves
before the Lord, and he
will lift you up.”

(James 4:7-10 NIV)

Take Control, Lord

Please control my thoughts, Lord,
and keep them pure and holy.
Help me think about righteous things
and keep me from sin and folly.

Please control my tongue, Lord,
so that I don’t offend or demean.
Help me say words of encouragement
that come from a heart that is clean.

Please control my behavior, Lord,
as Your wisdom to me You reveal.
Help me study and know Your law
and seek to be obedient to Your will.

Please control my choices, Lord,
and let Your Spirit guide my way.
Help me listen to Your gentle voice
as You speak to me each day.

Please control my circumstances, Lord,
and help me be faithful in all that I do.
Help me be pliable like clay in Your hands
as You mold me into the likeness of You.

Please take control of my life, Lord,
and on your promises I will rely.
Help me live a life of worship and praise
so that I lift up Your name on high.

by Beth Fore

*Submission to God’s will, rather than our own will, is very difficult for us to do;but, it is absolutely necessary if we want to be in an intimate relationship with God.

“Submit yourselves, then to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:7 NIV)

As human beings, we desire close, personal, intimate relationships with other people.  We also desire to know and understand our Creator, and we want to be close and intimate with Him.  This type of intimacy is possible for us, but we must be willing to choose God’s will for our lives over our own wills.  This is very difficult.  We are also aware that God’s will for our life may lead us far away on a path we are not so sure we want to travel.  Submission means we love and respect God enough to trust and obey Him, regardless of what He has in store for us.

When we do submit to God, we give him control over everything, including our thoughts, our tongue, our behavior, our choices, our circumstances, and everything in our life.  Many of us are independent, strong personalities who are used to making decisions for ourselves and others; we like to be in control.  It takes a true love and commitment to God to choose to submit to Him.

The scripture implies that once we submit ourselves to God, we can then resist the devil. We can resist Him because we have completely submitted ourselves to God.  God will empower us to resist Satan, and Satan will flee from us if he cannot deceive us and persuade us to do what he wants.  Once Satan flees, our relationship with God will become even more intimate.

APPLICATIONS

  1. Is it difficult for you to submit to God’s will for your life?  Why do you think this is so?
  2. In your everyday work and home life, are you a person in charge of making decisions for others?  Does this help you, or hurt you, in choosing to submit to God’s control?
  3. Choose an area of your life that you have difficulty submitting to God.  Pray about this area for a week.  Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and help you pray that God will help you submit this area to Him.
  4. Sometimes Satan really tempts us with special pleasures we enjoy that are sinful. What are some things we can do to resist him so that we don’t give in to him?
  5. Do you have the close relationship with God that you desire to have?  If not, how can you draw closer to Him?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

“One Anothering” While Coming Out of a Pandemic”

by Jo Umberger, VP, NewLife Behavior International

Author Richard C. Meyer has written three books on a concept termed “one anothering.” The idea implies that the “one another” passages in the Bible provide opportunities for Christians to do something for each other. While creative in nature, the thought certainly is rooted in truth. 

The phrase “one another” occurs 100 times in the New Testament. It is used at least 13 times to convey why and how we are to “love one another.”¹ Four times we are instructed to “greet one another with a holy kiss” or a “kiss of love.”² Galatians 5:13 tells us to “serve one another humbly in love.”

Christians are to “encourage one another” regarding our confidence that we will live with Christ after this life is over (1 Thessalonians. 4:18) and to “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians. 5:11). Hebrews 3:13 provides more insight into at least one of the purposes of this concept by saying, “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

There are many purposes for encouraging one another and many ways to do so. For example, we are to encourage one another is by “speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:19). Additional purposes are detailed in Colossians 3:16 where Paul writes, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

As a sharp contrast to the world’s way of treating people, Christians are given instructions on how to treat one another in a way that glorifies God. “Be devoted to one another in love” and “Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10). “Serve one another humbly in love,” as Galatians 5:13 tells us and “clothe yourselves with humility toward one another” as 1 Peter 5:5 says.

Over the past year, Christians around the world have had to resort to new ways of practicing the “one another” passages. While we have been and are thankful for technology, the situation also served to help us realize the importance of encouraging one another face-to-face.

Even before the pandemic, scientific research indicated negative effects of the lack of socialization, including poor self-esteem, depression, losing a strong grasp of reality, decreased ability to learn, decreased sense of empathy, reduced resilience, health risks and even a shorter life span.³

Because God made us, He certainly knows all our needs – spiritually, physically and emotionally. Perhaps that’s why the Holy Spirit says, “let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24- 25).

Of course each person must prayerfully decide when it is wise to resume meeting with the church. Oh! Meeting together is such a blessing! It allows us many more “one anothering” opportunities so that we can bless others in ways that can’t be accomplished through a screen and others can bless us as well.

Let us do whatever it takes to spur one another on, love one another, greet one another warmly, serve one another, teach and admonish one another through various types of music, honor one another, and encourage one another.

Give us wisdom and love, dear Lord!

RESOURCES
All passages are from the New International Version.
¹ John 13:34John 13:35Romans 13:81 Thessalonians 4:9Hebrews 13:11 Peter 1:221 Peter 3:81 John 3:11 ,1 John 3:231 John 4:71 John 4:111 John 4:122 John 1:5
² Romans 16:161 Corinthians 16:202 Corinthians 13:121 Peter 5:14
³ “11 Negative Effects of Lack of Socializing.” PTSD Journal, 5 Dec. 2016, www.ptsdjournal.com/posts/11-negative-effects-of-lack-of-socializing/. Retrieved 4 June 2021.

The Battle Within

by Beth Fore

“So I find this law at work:
When I want to do good,
evil is right there with me.
For in my inner being I delight
in God’s law; but I see another
law at work in the members
of my body, waging war
against the law of my mind
and making me a prisoner
of the law of sin at work
within my members.  What a
wretched man I am!  Who will
rescue me from this body
of death?  Thanks be to God—
through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind
am a slave to God’s law, but
in the sinful nature a slave
to the law of sin.”

(Romans 7:21-25 NIV)

The Battle Within

There is a battle within me, Lord,
that rages between spirit and flesh.
My flesh is hostile to You, Lord,
but my spirit Your will does cherish.

My sinful nature tempts me daily
with selfish desires and pleasure.
This nature ends in spiritual death
and despair that we cannot measure.

My spiritual nature submits to You,
and Your Spirit gives me life and peace.
Christ lives in me and my spirit is alive,
and His presence in me brings release.

I choose to be led by Your Spirit, Lord,
and I cry out, “Abba, Father”, to Thee.
Put the misdeeds of my body to death,
and defeat the power of the enemy.

May Your Spirit give me a bold spirit
and testify to all that I am Your heir.
Give me courage and strength, Lord,
so that in Your sufferings I may share.

May Your spirit ever live in me, Lord,
and may Your glory be revealed in me.
Help me know that through Your will
the battle within will be Your victory.

written by Beth Fore

*Both good and evil live inside of man.  There is a constant battle raging between the flesh and the spirit.

“So I find this law at work:  When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.”  (Romans 7:21-23 NIV)

Paul is saying these words to the Romans, long after he has been converted to Christ on the road to Damascus.  So that means that this war going on inside of him, and us, is a war between good and evil (God and Satan) even after we become Christians.  Because of the fall of Adam and the curse God placed on mankind, we are sinners.  Because of the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins, we are made pure and righteous before God.  But Satan is still roaming the earth, seeking whom he can devour, and Christians are at the top of his list.

As Christians, our spirits desire and seek God.  We want to obey God and become more like Christ.  But, our flesh is human and fallible; and we want to satisfy our fleshly desires and enjoy the pleasures that the flesh desires.  So, this war goes on inside each Christian.  God gives us the strength and fortitude to overcome these temptations and allows His spirit to reign in us and rule over our bodies; but we must be willing to do His will and ask His Holy Spirit to give us the strength to battle Satan and sin.

*God is the only one who can defeat Satan and give us peace of mind and spirit.

“What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25a NIV)

The Holy Spirit lives inside of the hearts of Christians.  He guides us into all truth.  He gives us the strength we need to overcome anyone or anything.  We must cry out to our God, “Abba, Father, put the misdeed of my body to death, and defeat the power of the enemy.”  We must truly seek to become pure and holy, and we must fervently pray to God to help us overcome evil with good.

APPLICATIONS

  1. Name one of the sins that you constantly battle.  Think of some things you can do to defeat this sin.  Spend time in prayer asking God to help you defeat it.
  2. Write down some verses, such as, “…the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4), and speak them aloud when you are tempted.
  3. Choose one sin to focus on changing.  Try speaking scriptures over it when you are tempted.  Keep a record, for a week, of each time you are tempted and how you deal with this sin.  Reflect on your record and proceed another week, etc., until you defeat it.
  4. Too often our pride deceives us and makes us think we are strong enough, on our own, to overcome sin.  This is the power of Satan, the great Deceiver, lying to us.  It is only through the power of God that we can overcome and defeat Satan.  Pray to God confessing this truth, and ASK HIM to give you the strength you need to defeat sin and Satan.

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

In the Garden

by Beth Fore

“My soul is overwhelmed
with sorrow to the point
of death,” he said to them.
“Stay here and keep watch.”
Going a little farther, he fell
to the ground and prayed
that if possible the hour
might pass from him.
“Abba, Father,” he said,
“everything is possible
for you.  Take this cup from
me.  Yet not what I will,
but what you will.”

(Mark 14:34-36 NIV)

In the Garden

Jesus went with Peter, James, and John
to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane.
He was deeply distressed and troubled
and fell to the ground on bended knee.

His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow
at the thought of His impending death.
He knew that He was destined to die
and would soon breathe His last breath.

He prayed three times in deep agony,
“Abba, Father, take this cup from Me.
Yet not what I will, but what You will”,
and with sweats of blood made His plea.

He returned to His disciples after each prayer,
and each time Jesus found them asleep.
He asked them to keep watch for one hour
as tears of sorrow and pain He did weep.

Jesus told them to, “Watch and pray
so that you will not fall into temptation.
The spirit is willing, but the body is weak,”
yet they slept when each prayer was done.

Jesus submitted to His Father’s will
as He prayed agonizingly at Gethsemane.
Then Jesus chose to be crucified at Calvary
offering Himself as a sacrifice for me.

written by Beth Fore

*Jesus may have shown more emotion and agony in the Garden of Gethsemane than He showed any other place while he lived on earth.

“’My soul is overwhelmed with sorry to the point of death,’ he said to them.” (Mark 14:34 NIV)

Jesus knew that his time had come.  He would soon be arrested, tried, and crucified.  He knew that he would have to take on the sins of the whole world for all time, and this must

have been a horrible thought for the Son of God, a perfect and righteous man who was without sin!  Christ also knew that he would be separated from God, his father, for the first time.  This would have to happen because Almighty God despises sin and Jesus would become sin for the whole world.

We do not know the exact words of Christ’s prayers in the garden, but we do know that Christ asked his father, Abba Father, to take this cup from him.  In other words, Christ asked God to find another way so that he wouldn’t have to become sin, wouldn’t have to be separated from God, and wouldn’t have to die a humiliating painful death by being crucified.  Perhaps this time in the garden demonstrates the humanity of Jesus more than any other time recorded in the Bible.  We can all identify with his sorrow and agony as he prayed about the coming events.

*Even though Jesus did not want to be crucified on the cross, he yielded to God, the Father’s will, when he said, “…yet not what I will, but what you will.”

“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you.  Take this cup from me.  Yet not what I will, but what you will.”  (Mark 34:36 NIV)

The ultimate test for Jesus, and for all human beings, is whether or not we will follow God’s will for our lives, regardless of what that requires.  Jesus made a decision to do just that in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He knew he was the only perfect sacrifice who could be offered to God to reconcile mankind to God.  He loved God and mankind, and he made the decision to do what he had to do to forgive mankind’s sins, make him pure and righteous in God’s sight, and reconcile man to God.  Likewise, God desires that we follow Him and do his will, whatever he asks of us.

APPLICATIONS

  1. Some people might say that this passage shows a weakness in Jesus.  What are your thoughts?
  2. Why do you think Jesus prayed this prayer three times?
  3. Try to imagine what it would feel like to know that you were going to have all of the sins of all people, for all times, placed upon you.  We know how heavy and difficult it is to carry our own sins . . . let alone ALL SINS of ALL MANKIND!
  4. Do you think that God could have taken this cup from Christ?  Why do you think he did not take it away?
  5. Have you told God you would follow his will, whatever it may be?  Can you?  If not, why not?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.